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To chasidim of Belz, he is known as "Der Ershter Rov", the first rabbi, but in the city of Belz itself he was called "Der Alter Rov", the old rabbi, in deference to the Bach (Rabbi Yoel Sirkis) who presided a as rabbi of Belz in the sixteenth century.
His father was Rabbi Elazar, one of the sages of the Kloyz of Brody. The latter was the grandson of Rabbi Elazar, rabbi of Brody until 1736, then rabbi of Amsterdam. Rabbi Sar Sholom grew up as an orphan, and was raised by his uncle, his mother's brother, Rabbi Yissachar Dov Ramraz, rabbi of Skohl, then in Galicia. He taught him Jewish tradition, and married his daughter Malka to him.
In the town of Skohl he was influenced by Rabbi Shlomo (Flam) the Rebbe of Skohl (also known as Reb Shlomo Lutzker), who was the personal writer and second hand of Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, the successor to the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism. Since his uncle (and father in law) was opposed to Hasidism, Rabbi Sholom would secretly be let down the window by his wife, to learn at Rabbi Shlomo Lutzker's Beis Midrash during the nights. He was also a disciple of the Seer of Lublin.
He composed several songs - most still sung by the Belzer Chasidim, including one tune, to "Tzur Mishelo", sung during the Shaleshudes third ritual meal on the Sabbath, which is still popular today.
Many of his teachings are preserved in an anthology entitled "Midbar Kadesh".
He reigned as rebbe from 1817 till 1855.
Rebbes of Belz
- Rabbi Sholom Rokeach (1779 - 1855)
- Rabbi Yehoshua Rokeach (1825 - 1894)
- Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach (I) (1854 - 1926)
- Rabbi Aharon Rokeach (1877 - 1957)
- Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach (II) (b. 1948)
- ↑ Padwa, Rabbi Chanoch Dov. "Shmu'ot Belz", in Heichal Habesht 23, p. 115
- Agudat Israel
- Belz (town in Poland/Ukraine)
- Belz Beis HaMedrash HaGadol (the largest synagogue in Jerusalem)
- Belz (Hasidic dynasty)
- Ger (Hasidic dynasty)
- Vizhnitz (Hasidic dynasty)
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